Don’t Get Yamcha’d! DragonBall FighterZ Review

RAISE YOUR HAND IF SOMETHING YOU’VE WANTED AS A CHILD HAS FINALLY COME TO FRUITION IN YOUR ADULT LIFE! *raises hand*

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There’s something deeply satisfying when a childhood favorite isn’t needlessly ruined. **angrily glares at Michael Bay**. All of my childlike dreams and fantasies appear before my eyes and are tangible. Characters look like how I remember. Their voices pulling me back into sweet, sweet, memories of big ass bowls of cereal and yelling KAMEHAMEHA with my dad. Both of us looking at the screen and then to each other with a look on our faces that says “did this nigga Krillin die again?” Yes! Those days of Dragon Ball nostalgia have been beautifully realized in the newest game, Dragon Ball FighterZ. This game is pure love. The thought and care that went into producing this game is evident. No corners were cut and no drop of old school memories were left untouched. Each copy of the game comes with a bowl of chopped onions because I’ve never cried so many happy tears in my entire life, (except for when the babe proposed to me and when I finally got to hold my daughter for the first time. Love y’all).

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Not to say Buddokai wasn’t a fun game, but FighterZ takes the nostalgia feels and cranks them up to eleventymillion. FighterZ is a 2.5D fighting game published by Bandai Namco and developed by Arc System Works. These guys have an extensive history from Double Dragon to BlazBlue to Guilty Gear, all games that I adore.

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FighterZ isn’t necessarily a hard game to pick up, but it will take some time to master. Once I got a hang of the controls, I was able to seamlessly weave combos and attacks together. Initially, I tried to go into playing this game without even looking at the controls or tutorials because I’m cocky. BUT I quickly realized, after my very first DEVASTATING defeat, that maaaaaaybe I should have a gander at the tutorials and practice area. Once I did and learned how to properly fight, the game became incredible! It’s the most fun I’ve had with a fighting game in a long time.

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Visually, the game is fantastic! The animations are rendered in an almost hand-drawn aesthetic and the colors are vivid. It truly looks like the show itself. Also, adding to the nostalgia factor are the returning performances of many of the original voice actors in both the English and Japanese dubs of the show. This is the last game we’ll hear Hiromi Tsuru voice Bulma because of her sudden and unfortunate passing. Her last work was an amazing installation into this franchise.

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Playing online or couch co-op with friends may very well be the main selling point of this game. But the story line and arcade mode aren’t necessarily there to just overlook. There are multiple story arcs to play through and a few different challenges to complete in arcade mode in order to unlock a couple of extra characters (super saiyan blue Goku and Vegeta but if you pre-ordered the game they came included). The one downside of the story mode is that it gets a bit repetitive. You fight clones of the game’s characters and there is an odd moves system where you get a limited amount of moves to get to the main boss fight. I’m not sure why this is set up in this way but to be fair, I haven’t played too much of it.

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The  roster is full of all my favorite series characters. From Vegeta and Kid Buu to Ginyu and Beerus, the roster is packed with unique heavy hitters. The buttons may all be the same for each of them but their specials vary. Android 18 can perform both accel dance and non-stop violence which both feature her twin, Android 17. He comes on screen to assist her. Using Ginyu will bring out various Ginyu Force characters and his body switching ability is usable in game as well. And, depending on how you set up your team, certain characters have special assists. For instance, if you have Goku and Gohan (kid or teen) performing a Kamehameha on screen with one of them will bring the other out to intensify it.

If you are a fan of the Dragon Ball series, get this game. It was created with such detail and care that all fans of the show and manga will absolutely love this game. And if you’re brave enough, drop those PSN names and challenge me to a battle!

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bio picAbout the author – Elaine C. Kern:
She is a nerd. That is all.

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